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OSHA Proposes $589,200 in Fines for Safety Violations at Tewksbury-Based Grocery Chain

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The United States Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has filed a complaint against Tewksbury, Massachusetts-based DeMoulas Super Markets for fall and laceration hazards at the company’s chain of Market Basket stores. The Boston Regional Solicitor’s Office also requested enterprisewide relief against the grocery chain after an OSHA inspection of several of the company’s more than 60 stores located in Massachusetts and New Hampshire revealed the company allegedly subjected workers to dangerous conditions. The two most recent OSHA inspections resulted in 30 alleged willful, repeat, and serious violations of workplace safety standards with proposed fines of $589,200.

According to OSHA, Market Basket stores reportedly exposed employees to unguarded fall hazards in work and storage areas at the company’s Rindge and Concord stores. DeMoulas Super Markets was also previously cited for the same fall hazard at Concord, Fitchburg, Lawrence, and Tewksbury stores. Additionally, an employee at both the Rindge and Billerica locations was seriously injured as a result of falls in recent years. In April 2011, a worker reportedly suffered a head injury and broken bones after falling 11 feet onto a concrete floor in Rindge. Following the accident, location managers allegedly refused to call emergency responders. Instead, the injured worker was carried by managers to a loading dock where a relative picked him up. The relative finally transported the hurt worker to a local hospital.

The super market chain is also accused of failing to protect deli, bakery, and produce employees from being cut by knives and other instruments. OSHA cited the company for neglecting to identify and provide worker hand protection needs. After OSHA issued citations for similar hazards in 2006, Market Basket stores agreed to conduct a job hazard analysis at each location but reportedly failed to follow through with the requirement. Company employees allegedly suffered more than 40 hand laceration injuries at the supermarket chain’s Concord and Rindge stores between 2008 and 2011. DeMoulas Super Markets was previously cited by OSHA for the same hazards at its Tewksbury and Westford locations.

OSHA has accused DeMoulas Super Markets of four willful violations with a total proposed penalty of $261,000 and seven repeat violations with proposed penalties of $225,000. OSHA also accused the company of 19 serious violations with proposed penalties of $102,700. This case was the second time in history that OSHA sought enterprisewide relief from an employer.

If you were hurt at work, it is a good idea to contact an experienced Massachusetts workplace rightslawyer to discuss your case. A skilled OSHA attorney can help you evaluate your claim and assist you with navigating the often complicated Massachusetts workers’ compensation process.

If you suffered an injury while at work, contact Pulgini & Norton, LLP to speak with a knowledgeable Boston workers’ compensation attorney. Our skilled lawyers are available to assist you with filing your workers’ compensation claim. We will also help you gather any required medical documentation and negotiate on your behalf. Our law firm assists individuals who were hurt at work throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. To discuss your workplace injury claim in more detail, contact Pulgini & Norton through our website or call us at (888) 344-2046.

More Blogs:

Senate Bill Would Make Failure to Purchase Workers’ Compensation Insurance a Felony in Massachusetts, Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Blog, April 19, 2012

Plainville Construction Contractor Cited $50,000 Over Fourth Fall Hazard Violation in Less Than Five Years, Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Blog, April 6, 2012

Additional Resources:

OSHA Region 1 News Release: 12-38-BOS dated January 18, 2012

OSHA Region 1 News Release: 11-1480-BOS dated October 18, 2011

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